Jonesboro Skate Park Destroyed by Local Business Owner

August 24, 2004 -- Posted 8:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- A downtown Jonesboro business developer allegedly loses his cool and destroys a community park.

Chris Baugh of Jonesboro is out on 5,000 dollars bond, after being charged with second degree criminal mischief on Wednesday at a probable cause hearing in Jonesboro. He was arrested for having destroyed the Jonesboro Skate Park in downtown Jonesboro, using a Bobcat.

The Jonesboro Skate Park was once a place where young people could come show off their skills, but now skaters are trying to use what's left of it.

"I just thought that maybe a storm or something did it," said skater Jordan Bradley. "I've heard that they threatened to do stuff."

"It's messed up that's for sure," said skater Josh Delcuesta.

"My younger brother worked on that every night, almost every night for a month until 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning building that for something very positive," said Jonesboro resident Paul Richardson. "The kids have a lot of activities that they can get involved in down there nothing harmful."

Chris Baugh, whose being charged with this felony, owns property across the street from the Skate Park. He's on the city's parking committee, and is a board member on the Downtown Jonesboro Association.

Baugh isn't telling officials why he did this, and residents on Main Street in Jonesboro say this was uncharacteristic of him.

The Jonesboro Skate Park was constructed this year and fully funded by community donations. The construction of the park was seen as a truce between kids wanting to have a good time, and business owners who were tired of seeing the skaters on Main Street.

Restaurant owner Piero Trimarchi says they still cause problems on Main Street.

"We've been called names because we tell them to stop doing that, we've been flipped off, it's been a nuisance all summer long," said Trimarchi.

Baugh is due back in court in September. He could face up to 6 years in jail, or 10,000 dollars in fines.

K-8 News has learned he plans to have a construction company out there on Wednesday to repair the damage worth 5,000 dollars.